Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which has been trying to withdraw as counsel for a sanctioned Russian state-owned bank in a U.S. lawsuit since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, has asked the U.S. district judge presiding over the case to approve a request to substitute Freshfields attorneys with a Connecticut-based lawyer from a small intellectual property firm.

Freshfields partners Timothy Harkness and David Livshiz filed a motion Thursday requesting that attorney Wesley Whitmyer of the Stamford, Connecticut-based Whitmyer IP Group be permitted to take over as counsel for VEB Bank, a Russian state entity that has been sanctioned by both the U.S. and the U.K. since the invasion.